Guernsey County Birding Drive

Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.

Guernsey County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

Guernsey County is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in the county. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Salt Fork SP

14755 Cadiz Road Lore City, Ohio 43755

To reach Salt Fork State Park from I-77, take exit 47 for US-22 toward Cambridge and Cadiz. Turn left onto US-22 east (Cadiz Road). Go 6.5 and turn left into Salt Fork State Park. There are a number of eBird hotspots in the park which you may explore.

The area consists of forests, streams, valleys, meadows, and reservoirs. This is Ohio’s largest state park. There are 17,229 land acres and 2,952 water acres, 14 miles of hiking trails and a small nature center. The main roads are paved, but a few of the small ones are gravel. Those are usually not accessible in the winter. Birding is usually good at the area behind the nature center, at the marinas and the beach road as well as along the various gravel roads. There is a lodge, which has 148 guest rooms and 37 two-bedroom cottages.

There are many eBird hotspots set up in Salt Fork State Park. Bird as many of these locations as time permits. You can spend a full day of birding at Salt Fork.

Great Guernsey Trail--Corduroy Rd.

63500 Corduroy Road Cambridge, Ohio 43725

To reach the Great Guernsey Trailhead at Corduroy Road, exit Salt Fork State Park on US-22. Turn Right on US-22 west and go 3.3 miles. Turn left on Larrick Ridge Road and drive 3.1 miles. Turn right on Old National Road. In .8 mile turn right onto US-40 west. Drive .5 mile and turn left onto Corduroy Road. There is a parking lot at the trailhead.

The first 6 miles of the Great Guernsey Trail project runs from Corduroy Road outside of Cambridge to Lore City. You may walk the trail as far as time permits.

James Wildlife Area

Byesville, Ohio 43723

From the Great Guernsey Trail Corderoy Trailhead, drive north on Corduroy Road toward US-40. Turn right onto US-40 east. Drive 1.7 miles and turn right onto OH-265 east. Drive 2.6 miles and turn right onto Deerfield Road. Go .4 miles and turn left onto Ideal Road (County Road 43). Drive 1.4 miles and turn right onto Soggy Run Road (County Road 549). Turn right on McGilton Land (Township Road 4540) and arrive at the James Wildlife Area.

The Division of Wildlife received the property through a donation from the estate of Dan and Margaret James in 1996. The terrain is typical of southeast Ohio consisting of wooded, rolling hills dissected by small streams. The habitat currently found on the wildlife area consists of 65 acres of forestland (85%) and 11 acres of grassland (15%). There is a large overhead power line along with the new REX underground gas line running from west to east through the wildlife area. This power/pipeline is where the grassland can be found.

Wildlife typically found in southeastern Ohio can be found on the James. Good numbers of fox and gray squirrels can be found in the larger forested areas along with deer and wild turkey. Woodland associated songbirds such as the Scarlet Tanager and Pileated Woodpecker can be observed in the area. Raccoons, red foxes, and mink are some of the furbearers you may find inhabiting the wildlife area.

Senecaville State Fish Hatchery

Senecaville, Ohio

To reach the Senecaville State Fish Hatchery from James Wildlife Area, drive south on McGilton Lane toward Soggy Run Road. Turn right onto Soggy Run Road (County Road 549). Drive .4 miles and turn left at the first cross street onto Robins Road. Drive .9 mi and make a sharp right to stay on Robins Road. Turn right onto OH-285. Drive .6 miles and turn left onto OH-313 east. Continue to follow OH-313 east for 1.4 miles. Turn right onto OH-574 and drive .4 miles. The Senecaville State Fish Hatchery will be on the right.

Senecaville State Fish Hatchery is located on over 120 acres in southern Guernsey County below the dam of Seneca Lake. This facility was acquired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987. The hatchery has 37 ponds containing a total of 37 water acres. The facility also has two outdoor raceways and 18 indoor rearing troughs. Water is supplied by Seneca Lake, which can deliver 2,000 gallons per minute. This water supply allows the hatchery to raise saugeye, walleye, hybrid striped bass, and channel catfish. Senecaville State Fish Hatchery is the main facility for saugeye and hybrid striped bass production. Fry produced at this facility are raised on-site and also shipped to other state hatcheries to be raised to stocking size. Saugeye and walleye production begins in early spring, and hybrid striped bass production starts in late spring with egg collection and fertilization at the hatchery. This hatchery is also the main production facility for channel catfish. Channel catfish production starts in the summer using breeding adults kept at the hatchery. These fry are raised on-site and also shipped to other state hatcheries to be raised to stocking size.

Seneca Lake--North (Guernsey Co.)

Senecaville, Ohio

The north end of Seneca Lake is a short drive from the Senecaville Fish Hatchery. Head southeast toward OH-574. Turn left onto OH-574 north and drive .4 miles. Turn right onto OH-313 east and drive .5 miles. Explore the streets in this area which give views of Seneca Lake.

Seneca Lake dam was built across the valley of Seneca Fork of Wills Creek by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1938 for flood control and recreation. It was opened to fishing in 1940, but due to highway relocation, the lake did not reach conservation pool until March 1942.